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Features: Re-Examining Zelda: Twilight Princess

Posted by Jacob Crites

Playing it safe, or changing the game?

You can tell a lot about a game from its opening scene. In the first few minutes of Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time we're shown a sweeping, first-person view of the Kokiri Forest, as Navi flies frantically to awake a hero-to-be. In Zelda: The Wind Waker we're shown, in a beautifully minimalist art style, an ancient legend of grandiose proportions. And, of course, in A Link to the Past the player is immediately thrown into a dark, stormy Hyrule on a search to find his wayward uncle.

All of these intros, though different in their own right, all point to one word: epic. True, they don't start out with explosions, mysterious murders or gunshots, but they don't need to. Every one of these opening scenes is able to immediately relate to the player the immense scope and gravity of the situation at hand. The huge, sprawling world of Hyrule; a princess in danger. The fate of the world hanging in balance.

Twilight Princess is different. It doesn't start with sweeping views of the world around you, there are no ancient prophecies about fallen heroes; there are no pirates invading your island, and no sense of urgency of any kind, really.

Despite what many critics have said about it, Twilight Princess is not an overly traditional Zelda game.

Twilight Princess starts with two friends sitting by a river, talking about the sunset.

Do you ever feel a strange sadness as dusk falls? They say it's the only time when our world intersects with theirs... ...The only time we can feel the lingering regrets of spirits who have left our world. That is why loneliness always pervades the hour of twilight...

-- Rusl, Twilight Princess

It sounds like an epic prophecy out of context like this, but when you actually watch this scene in the game it comes across as nothing more than a conversation starter; in fact in the very next sentence, Rusl brushes this comment aside, realizing that the tone is getting a bit melancholy, and changes the subject entirely.

Nintendo underplays this scene, and by the time you've started chasing cats and herding goats, you wouldn't be blamed for completely forgetting that that introductory conversation even took place. But like all Zelda intros, this opening scene is critical in establishing what lies ahead, and, possibly, what exactly the entire game is really about.

Let's be clear, now: Twilight Princess is an epic game. Incredible cinematics, a massive overworld, brain-bending dungeons and the biggest bosses the series has seen thus far. Contrary to the series' other entries, though, we get absolutely no sense of that epic scope from the opening scene. In fact, for the first couple hours of the game, we barely get the sense that anything is going to happen with these characters. Instead, we're pre-occupied with chasing cats, heading goats, following monkeys and catching fish; by Zelda standards, this is pedestrian.

But one thing it is, indisputably, is different. Despite what many critics have said about it, Twilight Princess is not an overly traditional Zelda game, and with the next series entry Skyward Sword fast approaching, we'd like to take just a minute to look back at the previous console instalment and examine this notion a little further.

The opening dialogue mentioned above sets a sort of theme or pattern for the rest of the 30+ hour experience. It lets us know right off the bat that this is not a game about saving the world, it's not a game about Zelda and it's arguably not even a game about Link.

This is a game about Midna.

Now, if you haven't played the game, and you have any intention of playing it, stop reading now. We're going to start delving into some extreme spoiler areas.

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User Comments (156)

Bass_X0

#1

Bass_X0 said:

I found it too dark in some places and therefore dull.

Searching out bugs as a wolf in the dark completely killed all interest I had in the game.

daznsaz

#2

daznsaz said:

it took me 60 hours to finish id of been cheesed off with only 30 hours ive had that amount from a ds rpg but yea was a good game reminded me of oot a bit

Aviator

#3

Aviator said:

My only big gripe with this game was the difficulty. Why have an epic boss (which most of TP's were) when they go down like flies. If they were to make the bosses a tad harder, I would eat it up.

Still enjoy the game.

default12345

#4

default12345 said:

I found this game to be extremely boring - not what I expected for my first Zelda outing.

Link79

#5

Link79 said:

I feel like I'm the only one alive who loved this game. I may even go as far to say it is my Favorite of the series. The rest of the world seems to hate it or feel it's the worst. Oh well I had a blast playing it and that's all that matters to me.

Bass_X0

#6

Bass_X0 said:

I still won't believe that anybody had a blast looking for those darn bugs in the dark.

Lan

#7

Lan said:

i enjoyed finding the bugs. i remember finding my last bug, the mayfly in the desert. man it's been a long time since i played that

Link79

#8

Link79 said:

@ Bass_X0
Well it's certainly easier with a guide but every Zelda game has a few tedious things about them. Everyone acts like TP is the only game with annoying fetch quests. I guess you have to be really hardcore for Zelda in order to look past a few flaws.

Bass_X0

#9

Bass_X0 said:

There have been tedious tasks in all Zelda games. You just play and get past them. Never before have I had to do it in the dark for ten minutes. If it had been light then it wouldn't have been so bad. But it was in the dark and so it was bad. A game that makes you so completely bored with it cannot be perfect even if it was for only ten minutes.

RyuZebian

#10

RyuZebian said:

I liked the game. I haven't played that many Zelda games, (1st one, OoT, Windwaker, TP and Phantom) and my favorites are by far this and Windwaker. I think TP feels a lot more epic in a lot of ways... Everything simply feels so grand, with great combat (yes, I liked the wagging) and presentation. I think I almost liked Windwaker more though, maybe because I was still a child, or maybe because I belong to those who loved it's style. I think in third place is OoT, then the first one and then Phantom... Oot feels epic in many ways, but I find it very hard at times (with bad controls, at least on VC). Same goes for LoZ. Phantom Hourglass just feels... Bad. Or more like mediocre. ANYWAY, Skyward Sword looks like it will be the best one yet! It looks the best, will probably control the best and probably brings many new things to the table!

madgear

#11

madgear said:

It's definately my favourite Zelda game - it's the only one where I haven't spent days wandering around with no clue where to go next. This one gives you just the right amount of information so you can work out what you have to do.

Wind Waker received a lot of hate too at the time - it seems everything but Ocarina is considered bad these days, wheras I prefer Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. Rose tinted specs, maybe? We'll see in the future how people see these games but Wind Waker is already starting to get the love.

RyuZebian

#12

RyuZebian said:

@7
The glowing bugs, yeah. But I think they mean the dark bugs! The glowing ones were a blast to find! ;)

madgear

#13

madgear said:

"This is often a criticism amongst Zelda fans: nobody wants to play a game where they're somebody's lackey. The Zelda series has always been about discovery and tackling everything at your own pace and in your own way"

Er what? Is someone forgetting "listen"? I find the fairies in both N64 games to be much worse than Midna.

Aviator

#14

Aviator said:

@madgear lackey |ˈlakē|
noun ( pl. -eys)
a servant, esp. a liveried footman or manservant.

In the game, your doing everything for Minda, not for yourself or Zelda.

ThomasBW84Admin

#15

ThomasBW84 said:

Great article Jacob!

I love this game, and in my opinion it is amongst the very best in the series, certainly challenging titles like OoT. It was certainly the most 'epic' in the series so far, and the story was well written. The only thing I wasn't crazy about was the Wii Remote waggling, I would have preferred a button press for using the sword.

MotionPlus in Skyward Sword should resolve that nicely!

JimLad

#16

JimLad said:

As far as story goes, it's not the best.
As far as gameplay goes it is definately the best.

LEGEND_MARIOID

#17

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

I find many of the complaints against this game quite odd and very fussy. One of the best Legend of Zelda games and a superb play through. A real classic IMHO. An all time great in my eyes.

Ristar42

#18

Ristar42 said:

I played this on the Gamecube and much prefer that version, spining the camera to take in those nice landscapes (I dont have a widescreen TV anyway). I thought the game was great to play through but once its completed, not much incentive to go back.

This and Wind Waker are my favourites, the old games dont have the nostalgia bonus for me as never had Nintendo consoles back then.

Expa0

#19

Expa0 said:

Didn't bother reading the article, but I agree that TP sucks and every Zelda that has come after it has sucked even more. Long gone are the grand days of OoT, MM, WW and the likes. Just face it Zelda has grown stale, just like the Final Fantasy series.

FonistofCruxis

#20

FonistofCruxis said:

@Bass_X0 I agree, I found some parts very dull. While it has one of my favourite characters in ther series (Midna) I don't thinks its as good as any of the other 3D games in the series or some of the 2D ones. Its still an enjoyable game though and I'd give it an 8/10.

EarthboundBenjy

#21

EarthboundBenjy said:

My biggest complaint about the game is that different players have different ideas about what is east and what is west in this game - and the most commonly seen version is the incorrect one.
Aaagh.

skywake

#22

skywake said:

I grew to trust Midna well before the final transformation. I was worried about her people when I was sent into the twilight realm even though I did spend a lot of the first half of the game not trusting her. Sure she's a flawed character but that doesn't mean you can't trust her.

And isn't Link also a flawed character? What about the Dark Link cut scene? Link has always been a non-character, the "Link" to the player, but in that scene they say beware of power Link, it corrupts... The fact that the characters in Twilight Princess aren't simple (besides Zelda and Ganondorf) is what makes it the best Zelda IMO.

RonF

#23

RonF said:

I don't get why this game gather so much flack. I really loved the game. I found the story to be engrossing and the waggling controls to be more confortable and natural than button pressing. I find it the best Zelda after Wind Waker.

It seems that people is stuck with Ocarina of Time, which is definitely a great game, and is unable to accept different takes on the series.

Taya

#24

Taya said:

I loved every moment of Twilight Princess but I don't think it stands up against my favourites: Wind Waker and Link's Awakening.

TP is the first Zelda game where I enjoyed the dungeons more than screwing around in the overworld though. It had some excellent dungeons.

RYBlast

#25

RYBlast said:

The major complaints I have with this game is that it was too dull at times, and they messed up Zant at the end, whom I thought was bad@$$.

Otherwise I loved it.

CanisWolfred

#26

CanisWolfred said:

I think the epic scale is the reason why I liked Twilight Princess so much. The world was huge, the bosses were huge, the dungeons were huge, there was so much to do and see - I just ate it up, you know? I also liked the darker look and feel, and I loved the whole Twilight world thing, reminded me of the Dark World from A Link to The Past.

Really, this was a very interesting article.

Kid_A

#27

Kid_A said:

@skywake
Great post! I had never really given that scene much thought, but I think you make a really interesting point there.

@expa0
If you had read the article, you'd be able to see that this isn't really an article about whether or not Twilight Princess sucks ;)

ueI

#28

ueI said:

I think this was one of the lesser games in the series. It's still good, however.

fishman100

#30

fishman100 said:

I thought it was a good game, but in some points I thought they were trying to just add gameplay time, like all of the King Bulbin battles.

Rensch

#31

Rensch said:

While I admit that the story has some things that set it apart from previous games, the overall package was, at its core, an Ocarina of Time XXL. Twilight Princess was one of those games that refine the existing formula rather that reinventing it.

But, yeah, Midna is one of the best character in the series and a million times cooler than Navi for sure..

RedBlueSpot

#33

RedBlueSpot said:

Almost every game that has a "Dark World" is a boring game. The only reason we liked A Link to the Past is because the Dark World was twisted, interresting and vivid. Not scary, dark and boring like Metroid Prime 2 or Twilight Princess. If they made the Dark World more twisted and fun to explore I, for one, would love it.

Redbluespot

Xkhaoz

#34

Xkhaoz said:

Man, I've really been wanting to replay Twilight Princess for some reason...

kevohki

#36

kevohki said:

The game was alright. It was essentially Okami-Lite in every way. It certainly had the most forgettable story and characters in the Zelda series. The wolf gameplay was awful and slow. Unpopular opinion but I hated Midna. She was annoying, bossy, had the underdeveloped personality of a shrew, and just unlikeable. Hard to care about her or any other character in Twilight Princess.

The_Fox

#37

The_Fox said:

I absolutely hated Twilight Princess. I guess every series is allowed an occasional misfire, right?

JGMR

#38

JGMR said:

This is in my opinion the second best Zelda game ever made (after A Link to the Past). It's incredibly atmospheric.

n0body

#39

n0body said:

I find the author's analysis interesting, yet incomplete.

To me it seemed as if the twilight realm was meant to be an inferior version of Hyrule, perhaps because of the character flaws of its denizens. Link and Zelda are good and pure from the very start yet Midna is selfish and un-trusting of others. Her impish form seems representative of her flawed character. She may be concerned with the well-being of her people but she has no scruples about messing around with the land of light in order to achieve her goals.

Only when she realizes the importance of balance between the two realms does she gain the integrity required for her inner beauty to shine through, and this is no doubt a result of the kindness shown to her by Link (and to an extent, Zelda) throughout the game.
To me that sounds more like a "Beauty & the Beast" kind of story than anything else. The Beast may be an intriguing character, but there's no doubt that Beauty (in this case, Link) is the protagonist of the story.

As much as I would like there to have been a deeper, more complex narrative, I can't seem to find one in this game. The author himself admits his interpretation is flawed, since the player, as Link, goes through no shift in perspective regarding the twilight realm or its people. Only Midna experiences a transformation, with Link remaining a static character throughout the game. It is a very one-sided transition.

Sadly, even the role of "kind obedience" is thrust upon the player with no option of deviating from it, since this would delay the progress of the game. In that sense, even the so called "kindness" that melts the heart of the beast is undermined, since the player has no alternate path to follow and therefor no actual choice to make.

I would really appreciate it if the author's line of reasoning could be extended, because the cynic in me feels it is influenced too much by wishful thinking. The Zelda fan in me would love for there to be a less superficial story in the game, but I don't feel there is sufficient evidence supporting this case.

Either way, thank you for an interesting read, even if I happen to disagree.

Nintomdo64

#40

Nintomdo64 said:

I thoroughly enjoyed TP. My only complaint is how easy it was. Even when you die, (which happens rarely) you re-spawn very close to where you were. This ended up taking away from some of the epic sense of the game, imo.

jkshaz

#41

jkshaz said:

Very interesting read. I enjoyed the alternate view very much.

And so come the incredibly long list of complaints people had about Twilight Princess. It was a good game I thought yet certainly had flaws that made it taxing at times.

warioswoods

#43

warioswoods said:

My experience of this game is atypical for one reason: while I'm a huge Zelda fan, I just started playing this game about nine months ago. I'd been saving the experience, and filling in some games in the Zelda backlog (Zelda II, for instance) before allowing myself to begin. And, I'm not quite done yet, although I'm nearing the last areas of the game, I think.

So, I had a chance to hear the original praise (which was unanimous at release, more than just about any game in the last decade — look back at reviews and you'll see), but I also had a chance to hear later fan grumblings before I began. I had open expectations due to all this, and just went in not knowing what to expect.

My reaction? This is a very, very good Zelda game, and honestly one of the best experiences in the series... better than OoT, I dare say. There's one thing about Ocarina of Time that I've never understood: how can it be so praised when it has incredibly boring text and dialogue? There's not a single character in OoT that I find particularly memorable, and the pain of sitting through some of the dialogue passages is as bad as the pain of constantly hitting that horribly inefficient menu to change your items. Yes, OoT had great puzzles and dungeons, but I've never felt like it was even close to the top of the series as far as its story, text, and interactions (LInk's Awakening and Majora's Mask, for instance, are far better games in this area).

Twilight Princess has one character, Midna, who is significantly more original, engaging, and well-written than any character in the history of the series. I'm delighted to see that your article focuses on her, as she really is the key to the game. The sequence in which you first become a wolf is one of the most memorable of any video game, particularly in the confusion of that new world combined with her somewhat ambiguous motivations and humor.

OK, long comment, but a couple of little notes:

  • "Finding bugs in the dark" is one of my favorite ideas in the game, believe it or not. It's a wonderful way to introduce each new town or area... you get to creep around and listen to the frightened residents, exploring their houses and back areas through whatever odd passages and holes you find, and thereby gaining a better knowledge of the town and its people before you just walk up and talk directly to them.
  • The opening section with the 3 days of basic activities was added very late in development at the request of Miyamoto, who upended the tea table by giving the developers — who were just wrapping up — a "3 day plan" that had to be added at the start, to introduce the world, the interactions, and the new Wii controls, all before any threat emerged. See "Iwata Asks" on this game.
komicturtle

#45

komicturtle said:

I enjoyed the game, for sure. I just wish the boss fights (as Aviator mentioned) were harder. That fight with that giant monster where you have to use that spinning top was pretty epic and was definitely a change of pace from the other fights. Was really exciting and I think was the more difficult boss in the whole game.

WWammy

#46

WWammy said:

I enjoyed Twilight Princess for the most part but ever since the N64 days where every game turned into a collectathon coupled with the kinstone collecting in Zelda Minish cap this mechanic really annoys me and it's getting worse with each new iteration of the game.
All Zeldas upto Ocarina of time this was bearable since you had good rewards but with every new iteration of Zelda they take it to a new extreme. One such example is the the fact now you must collect 5 heart pieces instead of 4 to make one heart I don't really see the need for this.
I wonder if I'm the only one no one else seems to have mentioned it ?

Odnetnin

#47

Odnetnin said:

I could never get past the Forest Temple, so I regretfully sold it. True story. :(

n0body

#48

n0body said:

@48
It's being re-released at a discount price as part of the "Nintendo Selects" line of games, if you're still interested.

Doma

#49

Doma said:

Hugely forgettable, too easy, dull - TP in a nutshell.
I've had no desire to play through it again, unlike the previous games.

theblackdragonAdmin

#51

theblackdragon said:

I'm with Doma — every other non-handheld Zelda I can go back and play again and again. not this one, though — it absolutely, positively bores me to tears.

TP looked pretty, i'll give it that much, but when a Zelda game only looks pretty there's something very, very wrong. I sincerely hope Skyward Sword is able to bring the fun and interesting gameplay back to the non-handheld side of the series.

bezerker99

#52

bezerker99 said:

There is nothing epic about TP. Boring puzzles, lifeless Kakarika village....hell, even the secret town is dead...just a bunch o' cats in there. Also, the music is rather forgettable. What a snoozefest.

k8sMum

#53

k8sMum said:

i played TP on the gamecube and loved parts of it, disliked others...as happens with all games. i have played all the zeldas and still go back and replay OoT (young'uns who dis on the game have no idea how innovative it felt when it came out). MM is still brilliant, imho, along with WW.

as long as midna didn't fly around my head yelling 'HEY! HEY!' all the time, i was happy. TP does ask more patience from players than the other zeldas; it is not a game for those who want instant gratification. but all in all, i enjoyed it. is it perfect? no. but then not much in this world is.

Kid_A

#54

Kid_A said:

@n0body
Thanks for your well-thought-out comment; it's exactly the sort of discussion that I hoped this article would start, as opposed to just "this game sucks" or "this game is awesome." :)

I think there is a depth to this game's narrative, but it's more of an emotional depth. There's a stunning aura of hopelessness throughout the game. Even Zelda, usually resilient and powerful, comes across as passive, resigned and defeated when we first meet her in the Twilight-covered Hyrule Castle. Link, who was used to constant praise and wide-eyed admiration by his fellow townsfolk in Ordon Village is turned into a frightening beast that's either ignored or rejected; the people cursed by Twilight can't even see him, and when he does finally save them from that dark shroud, they scream and run when they see him in his beast form.

And I already talked about Midna in the article, so I won't go there again. My first playthrough of Twilight Princess left me bitterly disappointed. Now I play through it at least once every year; it's an atmospheric and incredibly well-told fairy tale that I just want to experience again and again. There are moments in this game that are just classic, and I've started playthroughs just to experience certain parts of the game again, which I haven't done since Ocarina of Time came out. There's only so much depth you can give a fairy tale, but I think the depth that's here is good; any more and it would have been pretentious and overbearing.

@warioswoods
I have to thank you for your post as well. I think it's good that you were able to go into the game with more level-headed expectations. The hype and praise for this game upon its release was unlike any before it. It was hailed by a good many as the greatest game of all time, won just about every year-end award a game could win, and that sort of thing is only going to lead to disappointment (even though at this point, my love for the game has grown to a point where I wouldn't disagree if someone tried to argue that it completely deserved all that praise) Your thoughts on the game pretty much sum up my own, and I also have to agree that, objectively speaking, it's even better than Ocarina of Time.

warioswoods

#56

warioswoods said:

@k8sMum

TP does ask more patience from players than the other zeldas; it is not a game for those who want instant gratification

Exactly. I can't fathom all the "it's boring" comments on here. I absolutely love the pacing of the game. Every Zelda game takes me ages to complete anyway due to how I enjoy the wandering, exploring, and details of the scenery as much as I do the challenges, and this game gets that feeling right more than any previous entry in the series.

Also, I don't feel that any of the 3D Zeldas is particularly good to replay, not without at least a 5 year gap anyhow. They all take so very long to complete, and focus so much on free exploration and side challenges, that I generally have no desire to start my 40-50 hours over again, even if those hours were the most memorable of all gaming.

OoT does not have great replay value, IMO, and neither does TP, WW, MM, or any of the 3D games (although I might put OoT's replay value even lower than some of those others, honestly). That's not a criticism, it's just a different type of game, and I for one don't want a quick, replay-oriented game for my 3D Zelda.

The ones I can enjoy replaying anytime are only the 2D entries, particularly Link's Awakening (the pinnacle of 2D Zelda for me), the original game (my first Zelda experience, still unmatched in some areas), and Link to the Past. However, that doesn't make them better than the 3D games, just different.

Kid_A

#58

Kid_A said:

Out of genuine curiosity, I have a question for those saying that Twilight Princess is boring: What makes it boring, and what Zelda games would you consider to be exciting?

I think what's great about this series is that everyone has their own opinion of what Zelda should be. For me, I love exploring, and doing sidequests. Dungeons are fun, but I get much more pleasure out of running/riding/sailing/train-driving around, looking for secret paths, caves or islands to explore. For some people though, the dungeons and swordplay are the main draw. I'm just curious to see what sort of Zelda fans we have here :)

thesignpainter

#59

thesignpainter said:

the only thing i really disliked about the game were those accursed tears of light. i spent forever searching for them

bonesy91

#60

bonesy91 said:

Well as I stated in a past forum, I think I know why this game was not the epic game everyone hoped for.

1: Remember our last gen big Zelda game? Wind waker? In wind waker Nintendo decided to treat us to a new way to play Zelda (although keeping the basic zelda formual) Traviling on a boat, nothing but water covering the land and the new art style.

Fact 2: what was the general response? Everyone hated how they changed the artwork, the land, the sailing... Of course to this day most fans have grown to love Wind waker but it was too late.

Fact 3: Nintendo didn't want another "Wind waker" to happen because of the hate (now I don't mean more water and toon link style just something new original) and so instead of gaining another new out of this world experience and moving forward. Nintendo decided to listen to the fans and step back.

and so now we hate the game because there is nothing new or original like with wind waker. We have your basic Zelda (such as oot, a link to the past) now if the hate for Wind waker wasn't so hyped could we have gotten a better Zelda game.... maybe.

Noire

#61

Noire said:

The gameplay is mostly by-the-numbers Zelda.

This is why Twilight Princess was boring. I could never get past the fact that I'd done all of this before. No amount of flawed (as the author stated himself) narrative can help shake that feeling.

theblackdragonAdmin

#62

theblackdragon said:

@Kid_A: it was way too easy. I slogged my way through the dungeons (and when i say 'slogged' i don't mean that they were difficult or challenging in any way, i mean that they were overly tedious and were enough to put me to sleep) to get to boss after boss who hardly inflicted any damage on me, and when i got to the end of the game i snored my way through the final series of battles. the only thing that was remotely challenging about this game was getting the nunchuk to recognize my hand movements so that i could shield thrust (the one i have is a bit touchy, i guess; gotta hold my arms just so in order for it to register properly), and that's not a good thing considering those motion controls were/are supposed to be pretty intuitive. hopefully the M+ will solve that problem for Skyward Sword; TP was somewhat painful after a few days' worth of play.

The story didn't grab me at all, and without that, the gameplay was all I had left to focus on, and I found it lacking. I've never actually fallen asleep during a first playthrough of a Zelda game before Twilight Princess, and it happened for srs once or twice.

n0body

#63

n0body said:

@Kid_A
Thanks for the response. Since I posted my reply I started thinking about some of the themes in TP, and your reply helped me realize how wide-spread some of them are. It's difficult for me to isolate motifs that are completely unique to this game since it's the only Zelda I've ever finished (played parts of Minish Cap and Majora's Mask, which I am now completing thanks to VC, and a tiny part of PH and WW, which I hope to return to).

With that said I have started to realize how pervasive the whole theme of appearances and transformations is in this game. Not only does Midna go through a transformation both inside and out (twice if you include the "golden giant" towards the end), but Links transformation can be seen as a form of commentary on Midna's. Even when his appearance is beastly, in his wolf form, he is still kind and willing to cooperate. In other words, his true character is not skin deep, a lesson which Midna must learn from him. Another transformation that seems important in the game is that of the yeti's sick wife, the snow-woman. There is also the transformation of Ganondorf to a giant boar, although I can't say I understand the significance of boars in the game yet, seeing as they are so common.

Other plays on this idea of appearances and meaning beneath the surface can be seen in the whole idea of "sensing" the world, by which I mean the player is taught not to trust the initial appearance of his environment, and instead look for "hidden" information that isn't immediately apparent.

There is also the side-quest about the man in Hyrule town that is transformed into a doll, I forget his name, with his eyes being replaced by jewels or coins or something, not to mention the guardians of the mirror Link encounters in the desert temple, who are all masking their true faces.

To that extent, you could equate "seeing past appearances" to sight in general in the game, which allows you to add the concept of the Mirror to the theme, in addition to perhaps explaining the recurring use of prominent EYES in every one of the bosses, as well as Midna having one eye covered during most of the game.

Still, this leaves me with more questions than answers. It is fun to speculate about these things, even though sometimes I get the feeling it's often too easy to come up with your own outlandish conclusions and not "see" the game for what it is, but rather what you wish it was...

Kid_A

#64

Kid_A said:

@bonesy91
Only the most narrow-minded of fanboys hated Wind Waker when it finally released. It's actually more critically acclaimed than Twilight Princess.

@theblackdragon
To each his/her own. I'll fully agree that the bosses were too easy (although now that I'm thinking about it, I can't think of any Zelda bosses in any of the games--2D or 3D--that were genuinely challenging to me personally), but I found the dungeons to mentally-draining in their design. The Water Temple in TP gave me much more trouble than the one in Ocarina of Time, so even though I never saw a Game Over screen, beating a dungeon still felt like an accomplishment. I didn't find them tedious, either; each one brought a really cool new concept or gimmick to the table, like maneuvering the flow of water to different doors to rotate giant water mills, using metallic boots to walk on magnetic surfaces, or claw-shot-ing across falling platforms like Spider-Man.

As I've said before, I really didn't like Twilight Princess the first time I played it, for pretty much all of the reasons people have stated. I made myself try it again, though, because my friend told me I was being too hard on it, and I walked away feeling much better about it. Now I've played through it probably seven or eight times, and it's my second favorite game in the series :O

That's kind of the point of the article anyway. To give the game another shot (at least mentally, because playing through a 20 hour game again is a pretty big time-investment), looking at it from a different lens.

@n0body
Glad you've returned to the discussion :)
I agree that it's fun to try to speculate the significance of certain recurring themes, even if they're ultimately just wild goose chases. This article here, for example, is an absolutely fascinating analysis of Wind Waker's themes of islands and the fear of leaving home. Am I sure Miyamoto actually intended any of this? No, and chances are he didn't. But it's fun to talk about games we like from different perspectives, as long as it's not done to defend or justify a game that's otherwise terrible. Twilight Princess is already a huge commercial and critical success, as is Wind Waker, but such articles, I feel, can help us find new life in games we've played a thousand times.

PSICOffee

#65

PSICOffee said:

I'm only half way through this game. It sucks just as much as windwaker. Both are extremely tedious and boring.

Kid_A

#66

Kid_A said:

@PSICOffee
I would encourage you to keep playing a little longer. As I mentioned in the article, the game really opens up in the second half, and it becomes far less linear. If you're looking for a super-challenging, action and swordplay-heavy game, though, this probably isn't for you.

Kid_A

#68

Kid_A said:

@tbd I did want to hear it! I do apologize, because I didn't mean to come across as dismissive of your opinions, and I agree with you that over all the game was too easy; I just thought instead of saying "oh, well I don't agree," I'd at least tell you why. That's what a discussion is all about. What's the point of writing an article on a game if the conversation it inspires just boils down to "this sucks" or "this doesn't suck." I very much appreciate your clarification, because I don't want people who didn't like the game to feel uncomfortable here. I think there are a lot of very good reasons to not like Twilight Princess.

triforceofcourage

#69

triforceofcourage said:

I peronally will simply say:
"Read WariosWoods's post"
His post is exactly what I would have said if he didn't. It just happens to be my favorite game of all time. And yes I've played OoT. I think the controls are worse than TP, and the dungeons didn't keep me nearly as enticed to keep looking through.
But hey, everyones opinions are diferent. For example, I love broccoli. ;)

pikku

#70

pikku said:

I feel a replay of Twilight Princess coming up. Someone should either make a thread or start a BL club and we could all play it again from the beggining to give it another go~
anyone up for it?

Kid_A

#73

Kid_A said:

@pikmaniac02
I think when Skyward Sword gets a definite release date, that would be a really fun thing to do on the boards. Good idea!
EDIT: TBD beat me to it. Sneaky dragon :p

pikku

#74

pikku said:

Oh yeah, completely forgot about SS. :P
I can't wait for E3 for the release date D:
Sneaky dragon D:<

Bass_X0

#75

Bass_X0 said:

the bug parts were easy just look at the map and only go to your senses when you know your close to them

I'm not saying it was hard. I just found it incredibly dull doing so and I hated that a Zelda game was boring me to tears.

The_Fox

#76

The_Fox said:

I wonder if those saying TP is better than OoT are doing so simply to be contrarian.

daznsaz

#77

daznsaz said:

when you played oot starting in the village it was impressive then after a while when you got out into the main field it blew you away had never seen anything like it you couldnt replicate it with tp in that respect because we knew what to expect i got tp on release finished and enjoyed it got it again recently played so much of it but didnt finish it still a good game in its own right though

Shadow_Chad6982

#78

Shadow_Chad6982 said:

Next to OoT Twilight Princess was one of my favorites i loved every thing about this game except for finding the bugs and sure the story isn't like every other zelda but thats what makes this game uniqe

Chris720

#79

Chris720 said:

I love this game and have gone through it multiple times. The ending is pretty boring, a view of twilight coming over Hyrule with Link and Rusl having a man to man, but I have to confess, at the start of this when it shows what Rusl says, I kept thinking "I don't remember him saying that...". It really is that forgettable.

The game, compared to previous installments is pretty short and way, way, WAY too easy. Even Ganondorf is a walk in the park, if you play it right you can down him in 5 minutes or less.

The bosses are the most epic I have ever seen, and as Aviator said, they go down like flies, it really does take the biscuit going through an epic dungeon to get to an epic battle just for it to end after 5 minutes, boring!

But even with that, the sprawling open-ended world is outstanding and you can easily spend 20-30 minutes just riding around on your horse taking in the views. But once the game has finished, you've done everything and anything, TP sort of dies unlike OoT for example, you can play that countless amounts of times and it never gets boring.

Can't wait to see how SS does it though.

Retro_Gamer

#80

Retro_Gamer said:

This was a really good read and I agree that Twilight Princess seems to get better every time you play it (although I enjoyed from my first play through). I found the darker theme takes getting used to, especially after playing the bright and appealing Windwaker. I think the sword fighting is the best in the series so far, in fact the whole game felt more based around combat, sort of like....Zelda 2?

kkslider5552000

#81

kkslider5552000 said:

"I wonder if those saying TP is better than OoT are doing so simply to be contrarian"

Or maybe people have a different opinion.

Colors

#83

Colors said:

No matter what people say about this game, i'm getting it right when it comes out on Wii Selects.

The_Fox

#84

The_Fox said:

@kkslider5552000
Well, let's not get into the realm of the impossible here. I'm pretty sure everyone thinks exactly the way I do. That's what I tell myself, anyway.

Spoony_Tech

#85

Spoony_Tech said:

Best dungeons in a Zelda series hands down. However it lost a bit of the magic the OOT had for me. Great game but had a lot to live up to.

zeeroid

#86

zeeroid said:

I absolutely adored this game; the atmosphere, the gameplay, the story, and, of course, Midna. Thanks for putting my emotions into words. With the possible exception of Mario Galaxy 2, Twilight Princess likely remains my favourite Wii title, more than 4 years after its release.

Linkstrikesback

#87

Linkstrikesback said:

@KidA
Twilight princess is only rated worse if you are talking about the wii version vs wind waker.
The gamecube version is actually rated the same (and with a much higher user score, but we all know user scores are generally worthless...)
http://www.metacritic.com/game/gamecube/the-legend-of-zelda-twilight-princess
The Wii controls definitely didn't improve TP in the slightest.

@People saying twilight princess is too easy compared to other 3D zeldas.

Have you ever actually played the other 3D zeldas? They're all ridiculously easy. Especially the boss fights.

The only seriously memorable boss fights, in my opinion, are Twilight princess, vs the Stallord and Majoras Mask, vs Goht. The rest are *hit with item you got in this dungeon to show weak point, stab for massive damage".
For instance... Ganondorf in OoT http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxJf8IcGrsc&feature=related

Dodger

#88

Dodger said:

I think what some people forget is that yes, Twilight Princess and Phantom Hourglass may be the "worst" Zelda games but that still puts them up there as amazing games if you just try to forget that they are Zelda games for a bit. I can complain and complain about what I didn't like in Phantom Hourglass but I loved the game. Twilight Princess isn't perfect but it's still a pretty good game.

I think if you look hard enough, you can find things to complain about in any game. I'm not saying complaining is wrong. It shows what can be done better next time but it is important to look at it from both sides sometimes. At least that's what I've always thought.

warioswoods

#89

warioswoods said:

@77

Nope, and in fact, OoT is great but not in the top 3 Zelda games for me. I'm not sure what those 3 are... I change my mind from time to time. However, I know Majora's Mask would always appear ahead of OoT, and I'd never include them both. The original LoZ was such a wonderful experience as a child that it also probably has to stay near the top of any ordering.

theblackdragonAdmin

#90

theblackdragon said:

@linkstrikesback: as one of the people you're addressing, yes — i've played the other 3D Zelda games, and in all of them (i'm talking first playthroughs here) i remember taking some serious damage and having to replay some of the boss fights entirely because i ran out of fairies/potions (or in the case of my first ever OoT encounter with Ganondorf, i went in with nothing because i'd thought i'd prepared already and i hadn't D: D: D: ). not so with TP; i just didn't find the boss battles very challenging.

TeeJay

#91

TeeJay said:

@16
Whaaaaaaat?! Uh, no. It had a fantastic story but the gameplay was definitely not the best.


The article was a great read, by the way.

PhPhill

#92

PhPhill said:

@n0body To that list of transformations I'd add Zant's- the character looks really serious and stern when you first meet him but when his mask drops (literaly) he seems like a crazy lunatic. Moreover, we find out he was not the real mastermind but merely a puppet, a front behind wich Ganondorf hid, further adding to the theme of appearances and beyond.
Also, never mind the boar- that's been Ganon's appearance for ages, but what's up with the Puppet Zelda fight? I can't quite put my finger on it but I'm sure there is something to it....

Bensei

#93

Bensei said:

"ncredible cinematics, a massive overworld, brain-bending dungeons and the biggest bosses the series has seen thus far."

I don't agree with the last two.

kkslider5552000

#94

kkslider5552000 said:

I think the problem with TP's difficulty is that the other 3D Zelda games are typically easy...the 2nd time through. Twilight Princess was easy the first time through (outside of maybe Beast Ganon). At least that's what I remember.

And the problem with the last few Zelda games (even including TP despite being tied with MM as my favorite) is that there isn't enough innovation. I mean, some cool new items and stuff as always in TP but I'll admit it was basically OOT2 (which makes it LTTP3), Phantom Hourglass was just Wind Waker on DS and Spirit Tracks was an obvious Phantom Hourglass 2 despite having some new ideas (mainly Zelda helping you in the Tower, TRAINS). Zelda is like the perfect example of a series that never changes too dramatically but is always different enough in every single game and they haven't done that as much since Twilight Princess outside of controls (even if the controls were basically the highlight of the DS games). It's not necessarily a complaint about those games but I do hope Skyward Sword has a major difference compared to the last few games other than presumably excellent WiiMotionPlus controls(I've heard speculation that there might use flight as a main form of travel ala the King of Red Lions and that could be great).

Kid_A

#95

Kid_A said:

I'm going to wait until I play the 3DS version to rank Ocarina of Time. It's a great game, but certain aspects of its design haven't aged well. I'm glad theblackdragon mentioned that final Ganon fight in OoT, though--that's definitely a challenging one. I had to re-fight that guy almost five times when I first played it. That's the only super-difficult boss I can think of right now from the Zelda games (I'm sure there are more, but that's all I can think of at the moment). I hope in Skyward Sword they go back to the Link to the Past-type bosses where you can use a variety of strategies to defeat them. They've just become so predictable over the years.

ueI

#96

ueI said:

I actually thought Twilight Princess was one of the hardest games in the series, due to the overly complicated puzzles with unreasonable solutions. I suppose no one agrees with me because their first attempts at the puzzles were successful. Another complaint I have is all the awful minigames that were forced upon me, such as "fishing". I prefer Minish Cap and Ocarina of Time because I found myself doing SOMETHING notable throughout most of the game. I was overhyped for Twilight Princess and ended up finding it to be no better than other Zeldas. One of the few moments I loved was flooding the water temple. Despite all of this, Twilight Princess has all the important features of the series. I do not regret my purchase of the game, and I find nintendolife's 8/10 review to be entirely appropriate.

pikku

#97

pikku said:

I'm thinking of selling my Wii version to get the GCN version, because I would prefer to play it with the awesome gamecube controller.

n0body

#98

n0body said:

@PhPhill
I was actually wondering why boars are so widespread in TP besides Ganon. I should have been more clear on that.

Despair1087

#99

Despair1087 said:

this was my first wii game and i have yet to beat it. it's still on my shelf just waiting for me to pop it in to the wii. i didn't really like it, unfortunately i didnt like phantom hourglass or spirit tracks so i really really hope skyward sword is better.

k8sMum

#100

k8sMum said:

@pikmaniac: the gamecube version much more fun than the wii version, imho. (i will admit that i am still a big fan of the 'cube.) the controls are terrific with the 'cube controller.

PhPhill

#102

PhPhill said:

@n0body Oh, I see. I guess I just figured the enemy boars were a reference to Ganon- were there any ally boars? Anyway, it's worth wondering...

timp29

#103

timp29 said:

Wow, too many comments to read. I'm just going to say, twilight princess took proven and established parts of previous zelda games and polished them further. This zelda is second to ocarina of time (only in my opinion), and although it has a slow start, has some epic boss battles and didn't fall into the exploring for exploring's sake trap of wind waker.

EDIT (Post read through): Haha this discussion has nothing to do with the original article, except for a handful of comments. Anyway, I just thought I would say that the damn fish boss in MM is a barsteward. That's a hard boss. It always seems to be the water temple that I struggle with in 3D zeldas.

I find the massive love for WW interesting. Don't get me wrong, it is a great game, but I found the sailing in that quite boring, certainly more so that finding the tears/bugs in TP. Also, when I finished WW I felt amazed when I found out that Hyrule was underwater, but bitterly disappointed at the small number of dungeons for the time I had invested or even that you couldn't explore underwater hyrule.

The story in TP while pretty stock standard for the series, did try a new perspective in terms of the protagonists but I will say that the wolf sections in the game feel more like a penalty than anything. Basically you get stuck as a powered down wolf, in a boring dark world and I feel that many people probably see these sections as the 'crappy bits you have to persevere through to get to the good stuff'. I can't help but feel that the way they set up the wolf section (if I've hit the nail on the head) has been what has led to so much negativity towards TP.

Link-Hero

#104

Link-Hero said:

The only thing I did not like was the difficulty. WAY to easy, even for a Zelda game.

Besides that, I liked everything else about it. It has some of the best boss fights in the series, a dark atmospheric story (ala, like Majora's Mask), very good dungeons/temples, and very cool items (like the double clawshot, spinner, and ball & chain).

It’s easily one of my favorite in the series.

Lan

#105

Lan said:

this was the only game i'd stay up later than i was supposed to and play all night. think about it all day at school the next day and play it from like 4 when i got home til about 2 am. for a week straight. no other game sucked me in like that

SunnySnivy

#107

SunnySnivy said:

Why does everyone regard OoT the best in the series? I loved that game but it's completely overrated.

Kid_A

#108

Kid_A said:

@n0body and @PhPhil
I looked up "boar" in a dream dictionary (which is sometimes useful for finding symbolism in literature, art, whatever). Here's what it said:
"To see a boar in your dream, indicates that you need to look inside to find the answers and secrets about yourself and the people around you."

That would fit well with our earlier analysis, no? The symbolism dictionary had some other interesting things to say:
"The boar figures heavily in tales of the Otherworld, often in the guise of a trickster figure, full of cunning and mischief. In mythological tales, the boar is often directly or indirectly involved in the death of the hero."

And...

"The boar is an emblem of fertility, fearlessness, and strength, but also stubbornness, war, and chaos."

It all mostly confirms what we already know about Ganon, but it certainly is interesting :)

Lan

#109

Lan said:

@Kid_A you were talking about super difficult bosses? gleelock or whatever it's called (the multi-headed dragon) in zelda 1 and seasons. impossible without potions. for me anyway :D

Kid_A

#110

Kid_A said:

@GuardianAcorn
See, after fighting room after room of Blue Darknuts I felt pretty prepared for the sort of tricky maneuvering Gleelock required. That's just me though. I have much more trouble getting to those stupid bosses than the bosses themselves :p

Lan

#111

Lan said:

@Kid_A yeah, those darknuts were a pain. especially if you run out of bombs. i honestly never found any 3d zelda bosses to be difficult. i hope skyward sword ups the difficulty a bunch! enemy-wise, not necessarily dungeon-wise. i'm still stuck in the shadow temple on master quest!

zionich

#112

zionich said:

To me it seems the transformation that Link goes through is what you experience playing the game. The distrust of Midna, and her intentions. Frustration as she orders Link around, and how she treats Link. Even how Gannon used Zelda as a puppet in the final series of battles. This method of story telling was ment to be an emotional connection, so instead of reading what Link thinks, you experience it. Thats the advantage of Link being the silent hero. The game draws ya in, if the narrative holds up. It did, in TP for me.

Now if there was only a hard mode for those epic boss fights :(

Faron

#113

Faron said:

A masterpiece, and yes, it gets even better with subsequent playthroughs.

WiiLovePeace

#114

WiiLovePeace said:

Thanks for the article NL! I never liked Twilight Princess because of the easy boss fights, large focus on sidequests/low importance of the dungeons, poor story, twilight realm was really lame & small, no cool or useful musical instrument/songs (like the ones in OoT), I could go on... It just didn't feel like a Zelda game & now I know why :) I have a new found understanding of the game & may go back & play through it again sometime before Skyward Sword comes out.

armoredghor

#115

armoredghor said:

Added sword techniques, extra sidequests, bigger boss battles, an improved aiming system, more variety on horse back battles, more new weapons and less familiar ones. Wolf link was intended to be weak with extra speed and senses. It was a great alternative if you didn't have your horse call or horse grass around. @bAmbAmthey added the extra heart piece slot because they had more quests and a bigger world to use. Besides, they're all optional. Added sword techniques gave the player meaning to the words 'primary weapon' it wasn't the thing used after you used your latest anymore. You could have full sword battles in which you could schoose any technique to fight with. The dark nights with neon bugs gave it kind of a cyber punk feel. The plot has as much as any other Zelda game. I think this is the real successor and surpasser of Ocarina of Time. This game is in one of my top 3 of all time.

JGMR

#116

JGMR said:

I'm replaying the game at the moment, i just passed the 'Sumo-test' of the village chief :D

I have to say that certain items and their usage are quite ingeniously designed, like the Gale Boomerang for instance or the Twin Hookshot. It really added something to the gameplay.

DestinyMan

#117

DestinyMan said:

Coming from someone that hardly plays Zelda, I really liked this game the first time I played it. I guess if I had played Zelda since OOT I would've thought differently, but if you try to compare TP to OOT, you'll always be disappointed each time. If you drop the comparisons and see it for the game it is, you might think it's not so bad. The boss battles might've been easy, but they were epic, especially the skeleton monster in the desert dungeon. The daker visuals were nice. I also thought the spinner was cool too. This was a great article.

moosa

#118

moosa said:

This game proves that the majority of gamers will never be satisfied with another Zelda game again.

Fuzzy

#120

Fuzzy said:

I really enjoyed it when I first played it, but once I beat it, I never really wanted to play it again. But after reading this article and some of the comments, it's got me motivated for another playthrough.

Great article, and thanks for making me want to play TP again.

RYBlast

#121

RYBlast said:

@bonesy91

I agree with everything you said. Zelda fans will never be pleased. They hated Wind Waker for its cartoon style, and when Twilight Princess came out, they loved Wind Waker and hated the realistic approach. Now, with Skyward Sword having the impressionist style, they love Twilight Princess and Wind Waker and complain about Skyward Sword, when they previously hated on both games. I bet you any money that when the next Zelda gets announced they're gonna complain about it not being similar to Skyward Sword.

And that is why, in my opinion, Zelda fans are worse than any other fanbase out there, including the Sonic fans. Zelda fans get loaded with great games all the time, yet they still complain. At least when Sonic fans complain, it's a bit valid because they've been getting loaded with sh*t games for the past decade (excluding handheld titles and Colours).

I hope I have made my point clearly.

k8sMum

#122

k8sMum said:

@RYBlast: spot on. i equate it to those who get their knickers all in a twist when the doctor regenerates on doctor who: they finally accept a new doctor and it's time to move on to the next and they just don't wanna do it! there are whole forums dedicated to those who cannot get over david tennant's leaving and appear to be in mourning and will not watch matt smith's doctor. all they are doing is missing out on a really great interpretation of the character.

it's not all zelda fans, of course. some of us just go with the flow and look forward to new incarnations. WW was a jar to my eyes at first, but as i played it, that faded and i let the game be what it was. to those who 'don't get' why some of us love OoT: you don't have to get it. we do and that's enough. yeah, it's dated. but until they invent games that somehow manage to regenerate on their own whilst being in their cases, it is still the first game that really blew my mind.

zionich

#123

zionich said:

@ryblast
Id say thats a bit of a harsh stereotype. Just because there's a vocal minority , doesnt mean the majority feel that way. In defense of the way people reacted to WW , it was because the last that was seen previous to that was a demo of Link and Gannon in a sword duel. So ya, people expected different.

Now I will say that with Zeldas track record of being great games , its a bit childish to hold on to that possible bitterness. From what I read , those that played WW mainly loved it, myself included.

Bassman_Q

#124

Bassman_Q said:

I too really loved this game. It had the most engrossing narrative of all, and had the most epicness to it as well. My only complaints would be that it felt too similar to OoT and had a somewhat dull color palette. And the wolf sections were a snore. However, it is still among my favorite games, with it ranking fourth among Zelda games, behind Link's Awakening (3rd), Ocarina of Time (2nd), and Wind Waker (1st).

Willy105

#125

Willy105 said:

It's the only Zelda game I 100%, so I say more games should be as fun to play as that one, and it's not even my favorite Zelda.

moosa

#126

moosa said:

Too many gamers complain about every new Zelda game simply because it isn't the same as OoT. And the hilarious thing is that now that OoT is being re-released, some people are complaining about that too.

Not everyone is like this, but the fact is that most gamers seem to have an insatiable need to complain about things, and I think Zelda games make the perfect target.

moosa

#127

moosa said:

The one thing I can't seem to help complaining about is how much gamers complain about EVERYTHING.

RYBlast

#128

RYBlast said:

@zionich and k8sMum

Well, I'm pretty sure the people that complained about Sonic's eye colour are the vast minority too, but that's why the Sonic fanbase is regarded as terrible. Just the mere fact that people are complaining instead of being happy. Same applies to Zelda fans, or anything else. I'm not saying all Zelda fans are like that at all.

WhiteTrashGuy

#130

WhiteTrashGuy said:

I was hoping that this game was going to have more going in to it. The world did not feel as large and populated as I had hoped after seeing those trailers at E3 year after year. WINDWAKER is far and away a better game than TWILIGHT PRINCESS. I would have rather had a remake of OCARINA using the TWILIGHT PRINCESS game engine. SKYWARD SWORD will be the overhaul I have been waiting for.

Ste

#131

Ste said:

When I got my wii in 2007, it was my first console in years, I had heard so much about the zelda series that TP was one of the first games I got, if not the first and I simply loved it and have also played LTTP and loved that as well. But those were the only 2 in the Zelda series I have played. (I found the of the collector's edition for the GC with 1, 2, MM and OoT, but haven't played one yet) Being one of my first games, I had trouble with some puzzles and some of the fights and thought it was a great way to be introduced to the series, although I didn't realize the story behind the Master Sword until I played LTTP. It is still one of my favorite wii games to this day and this article makes me want to replay it. I didn't mind the bug chasing as much as it seems everyone else did, I hated chasing that maniacally insane squeaky puppet around the field.
Anyway, in context to the article itself, since the beginning set the stage of relaxation and chilling by the stream talking to Rusl, it did set an attitude that although there were things to be done, we could take our time about it, no matter how much Midna pushed us, but make sure we not only did it right, but continued to be ourself and help anyone and everyone (cleared the stream or brought the hot spring water to the goron) take time and relax (fishing) or try something for the heck of it (like being shot out of a canon and riding a fliying/gliding chicken thing) as much as we can so we could go off-track. Although seriously, that bug lady was just kinda freaky.

LadyLink

#132

LadyLink said:

I am currently still playing the game. I have enjoyed very much so far. I can't really be a critic of the game, but i do have a few issues. Some areas were way too dark to see in. I thought I was blind! This also may sound a bit like I'm complaining about the difficulty, but i think the hints could be a little more specific. I'm so glad I had YouTube to assist me!

ueI

#133

ueI said:

The lighting mainly bothered me when I was traipsing through Hyrule Field at night.

theblackdragonAdmin

#135

theblackdragon said:

@LadyLink: if you can't see in certain areas, you need to adjust the contrast on your TV. it should be dark, but not impossible for you to make your way around.

Gressil

#136

Gressil said:

I personally wish I could get back my time playing this game. Simple things like no magic meter, no new spells, a strange top item you use to pointlessly bounce about, very little tunic swapping, and zero difficulty are among the few reasons I feel this game was not at all near par for me. If I remember correctly, all the bosses died in like 3 hits. Am I totally wrong, or?

Kid_A

#138

Kid_A said:

Thanks to everyone for the positive feedback :)

@Gressi
I hear you for the most part but, tunic swapping? The only other game that does it is Ocarina, and it wasn't much fun, in my opinion.

Token_Girl

#139

Token_Girl said:

Not a whole lot I can add, but I thought this was a really good game. I thought Midna was quite an interesting and funny sidekick character, and I like the take on her transformation from the article. I think she's definitely the best sidekick. I also loved searching the towns in the dark. Honestly, my only issue was the low difficulty level (except for the sky temple, that was really tricky), especially with the bosses. The dungeons, while mainly interesting, were a little too formulaic as well. I hope SS mixes things up a bit.

I also thought sailing in WW was the most BORING thing ever. I'm planning on replaying it, and I'm hoping I like it more, but I quit that game, because I just got sick of sailing. It seems people like either WW or TP, but not both. Don't know why.

Also, I think a lot of people look at Zelda games expecting to feel the same sense of wonder and excitement their first Zelda game gave them. That's not going to happen. It can't. You're not a child anymore; no game will blow you away like the greatest titles during your formative years. You just need to accept that and enjoy games for what they are!

MeloMan

#140

MeloMan said:

Gameplay-wise, this was like OoT expanded, and/or beautified. Story-wise it was extemely dark and moody, not unlike MM. Overall I liked the difference in story telling as the atypical "boy of courage, princess of wisdom, evil man of power" has been told to death, though it's quintessential "Zelda". Sometimes some things have to be done to keep a story fresh, and I expect no different from SS. As long as Zelda doesn't go incredibly off the deep end, then I'm up for whatever Nintendo can throw at me with this series.

Faron

#141

Faron said:

@Token_Girl
I like both WW and TP, although TP gets a slight edge from it's better pacing and longevity. Both are among the best games i've ever played anyway.

CowLaunch

#143

CowLaunch said:

I personally liked the opening scene of Majora's Mask, immediately set it apart form other games in the series.

I enjoyed Twilight Princess a lot as I played it, but I hardly remember anything about it now, whereas memories of Link's Awakening (which also had a distinctive opening scene) Ocarina, and Majora still linger.

I was grateful that Twilight at least felt finished, unlike Wind Waker.

I just don't think I cared enough about the world in Twilight Princess. Maybe it's because I had a social life when I played Twilight, but I found Ocarina far more engrossing, and whilst there are aspects in Twilight and Wind Waker that I think are highlights of the Zelda series, they're just not as consistent as Ocarina for me.

Certainly in Twilight's opening scene and through much of the game, there isn't much of a sense that Link has a particular destiny, something that is crucial for Zelda game I think, or at least for the main entries in the series.

I have high hopes for Skyward Sword, I think it could finally topple Ocarina.

Deviant_Mugen

#144

Deviant_Mugen said:

Great article, Kid_A. This is truly one of the best Zelda games out there, in my opinion. I still need to go back and finish my recent 100% second play-through, though...

Gressil

#145

Gressil said:

@warioswoods and @Kid_A

I just found it was a little interesting to have resistance gear and it be used in special situations. I'd take a red tunic over a freaking second hookshot any day.

TheGreenSpiny

#146

TheGreenSpiny said:

I find the comments about the games opening and the 3 day cycle interesting. I think most people missed the point of this and as I played through the game I appreciated the slow start so much more. While all the 3D Zelda's had this opening tutorial bits this is the only game that lengthen it in order to establish narative. This is the biggest change that this game made was having an interesting narative filled with intersting characters. Obviously Midna was the central character, she is after all the Twilight Princess. The children get a proper set-up (as well as their parents) and I actually cared enough that I wanted to save. Not once in TP did I encounter a character that I wanted to decaptite rather than help. The same can't be said about the annoying people that overcrowd Zelda games of the past (OoT and MM chief among them.) It seems as everything tied into the narrative. I loved how the goat hearding came back into play (like when you fought "boar" Ganon. Same with the fishing and the other mini games. Most where thrown in and optional like the other Zelda games but many were not. I liked the Wolf sections but thought the combat was weak for wolf Link. People's complaints about the bug sections are a little unwarrented: they make up a tiny fraction of the game.

Slapshot

#147

Slapshot said:

@Kid_A I've been on a mini-vacation and didn't see the article up until now, but I've got to tell you, this is a fantastic read! I'd felt that the Zelda franchise needed something to freshen up the series once again — much like Majora's Mask did on N64 — and Midna was perfect, along with the other new additions to the game as well (double claw shot). I put nearly 90 hours into the game and enjoyed every minute of it, and it still stands as my favorite game on the Wii.

A bit on the easy side, and the wrist pains that had to be endured are two of my largest gripes, but every game has its faults. Thanks for the awesome article! :)

castor

#148

castor said:

this game is creepy at some points, but still be epic as any other of the franchise... you gotta love the position of 'chosen one' seeking for the hero every century

PhPhill

#150

PhPhill said:

Hmmm...after reading through these comments I'm starting to think I may have rushed through the game. I've never replayed a game before but now I'm gonna have to seriously consider it. Also, @Kid_A that boar stuff is actually pretty interesting...dream dictionaries hum?

motang

#151

motang said:

After the first initial play, and were able to go back and forth between twilight and Hyrule that's wasn't in twilight it was a fun and enjoyable game. I loved playing this game, exploring every little nook and cranny.

LadyLink

#152

LadyLink said:

Overall, the game is pretty awesome. But the bosses I've met have been disappointing.. @theblackdragon I have tried adjusting it but it never seemed quite right.. plus I kind of don't have my TV at the moment

Kid_A

#153

Kid_A said:

I just want to thank everyone for all the great feedback and contributions to the discussion. My goal was to get people to see the game from a different light, and it looks like I've done that to at least some degree :)

LeasTwanteD

#154

LeasTwanteD said:

A very interesting read, Kid_A!
And since it’s always “better late than never” I thought I’ll just get my two cents in here too. I hope someone is still reading it. :)

I remember liking the game much. Midna contributed to the most moving ending scene of any game I’ve played yet. And that's while i found her kinda funny the most time. I also don’t take most games too seriously.
So, what else can i remember ?

  • The waggle felt good to me, the magnetic boots and “storm boomerang” have been great and the Wii controls made using the bow and boomerangs much more intuitive imho.
  • The first boss battle felt epic and refreshing. The fight after the last bug-collecting wolf section came off epic too.
  • What I found really clever was the chase of the fish-smell to get to the ice-temple.
    That may seems like the game left little impression on me but I can’t come up with many memories of my all time favourite games either, so don’t draw false conclusions. ;)

The thing that really felt strange to me was the use of cutscenes. In the early hours the game bestowes unusually many cut-scenes upon you without much gameplay between them. Later in the game there’s rarely one to be seen. To me that seemed like the game doesn’t really know what it wants to be or at least how it wants to handle its storytelling. And that took quite a bit of fun out of the game for me.

In a whole I’d say there was absolutely no way for this game to turn out as great as the hype made it. I mean it’s still a Legend Of Zelda game. Though many people claim to hate it because it has the characteristic gameplay that we’ve all come to love i’d say even more people would neglect it if Nintendo altered it drastically.

And I don’t know about the bosses. To me they’ve always seemed more puzzle- than skill-based. Not like in the original on the NES, a Mega Man or Castlevania game where you mostly have to recognise patterns and dodge many attacks. I guess I wouldn’t mind if they were to do that in a future game but I enjoyed the battles very much as they are.

warioswoods wrote:

"Finding bugs in the dark" is one of my favorite ideas in the game, believe it or not. It's a wonderful way to introduce each new town or area... you get to creep around and listen to the frightened residents, exploring their houses and back areas through whatever odd passages and holes you find, and thereby gaining a better knowledge of the town and its people before you just walk up and talk directly to them.

I felt the same way about it.

Token_Girl wrote:

Also, I think a lot of people look at Zelda games expecting to feel the same sense of wonder and excitement their first Zelda game gave them. That's not going to happen. It can't. You're not a child anymore; no game will blow you away like the greatest titles during your formative years. You just need to accept that and enjoy games for what they are!

Quoted for an incredible amount of truth!

GreenInferno

#155

GreenInferno said:

Well if this article's assertions are true, the title of the game really could have been 'The Legend of Midna: Twilight Princess'.

Ancoma

#156

Ancoma said:

@Token_Girl, well, I've not played Any Zelda game since LTTP, just 20 years ago or so ... I finally bought a Wii recently, love to play with my childs, and wondering if I stay a child myself ;)
But then, aside from the little party games I found this Zelda title and this game is really astonishing. I went from surprises to marvels, never boring (I remember wandering hours in LTTP, not founding what to do next), and loosing sleep time at an alarmous rate ! The visuals are stunning, animation is smooth and very realistic, fighting the bosses a great experience. I agree it's a bit on the easy side (well, the part where you(ve got to save the Zora's Prince nearly drove me mad till I found how to pass).
But I think if I've been playing each and every other 3D Zelda title out, numerous times, this very feeling would be strongly disminished.
I've just finished it, and it's really an epic tale (with some touch of humor in it, also - remember the citadel guards in the tavern ?). The wolf part are great, also (and not that long).
And yes, Zelda character is certainly not the main one in this game, but for some reason princess to rescue are just very passive ones, isn't it? Midna was no more combative in the beginning - but she takes her destiny in her hands and find a Hero to use. Doing so, she discovers many things, and it's quite interesting following her evolution throughout the game.

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